Success Story – Finding A Better Balance Between Work And Chronic Illness

“I knew I couldn’t do anything as physically demanding as I used to. It was really difficult to find a job that matched my very specific needs… I came across Astriid while I was researching help for chronically ill people looking for employment, and I was just thrilled because it was exactly what I needed”.

Astriid Candidate Holly

Holly used to work in a thriving veterinary practice as an Animal Care Assistant, a very busy and physical job where she was always on her feet. When she was diagnosed with her chronic illness, things changed. She had no prior knowledge of pacing or managing her health, so she urged herself to push through at work – she loved her job so much that she was even working over her breaks and volunteering for over-time.

However, this led to a huge decline in her health. She was no longer able to enjoy her hobbies or social life outside of her job, because all her free time was spent recovering from her working day. Eventually, she crashed. The pain and fatigue was so debilitating that she was barely able to get out of bed.

She was signed off for work for a few weeks, and then a few months. Even though she was working with an occupational therapist and her job were trying to find ways of bringing her back, Holly came to realise that she wouldn’t be able to return. This was a heartbreaking decision for her to make, but she knew it was the right one – she needed time to work on her health.

After a few months of recovery and progress, she felt ready to return to work again… it just needed to be in a different capacity. It was very difficult to find a job that matched her specific needs – she needed part-time, flexible hours where she could work remotely. As she was searching, she discovered Astriid.

Holly was thrilled to find the charity, because it offered the exact support she was looking for. Shortly after signing up, she was contacted by a candidate co-ordinator. They had a great chat about what she was looking for in a job, her access needs, and how the charity might be able to help. She was connected with volunteering opportunities and workshops to help her develop her skills and prepare for her return to work, and it wasn’t long before a potential job opportunity cropped up through Astriid’s online platform.

She was invited to apply, and the Astriid team helped her to finesse her CV and then prepare for the interview. Holly was thrilled to be offered the job, and has recently begun the role. She feels that the experience has given her mental health a much-needed boost, and she’s over the moon to be working as part of a team again – especially one that is so respectful and accommodating of her needs. 

Her advice to any current or prospective Astriid candidates with chronic illness is to always ensure you’re prioritising your health, and to remember that you don’t have to work yourself to the bone in order to be valued. 

She also wants to see employees and team members be open and receptive to the needs of any chronically ill people they work alongside. She encourages employers to become more flexible and creative in their hiring, and be open to moudling opportunities to fit around the right candidate rather than trying to squeeze people into rigid and outdated norms of the past.

Holly tells us that she definitely feels she wouldn’t have been able to find a job like this on her own, and she’s immensely grateful for Astriid’s support. Thank you for your kind words Holly, and a huge congratulations on your new role!


Here at Astriid, we match talented people with long-term illnesses with meaningful employment opportunities. We work with employers to make sure that they can meet individuals’ needs, and help candidates through all stages of their ‘work ready’ journey. You can find out more and sign up as a candidate or an employer by visiting our website!